EXPLAINER: Doctor’s advice on everyday activities in age of delta variant

CHARLOTTE — With the delta variant behind an alarming rise in COVID-19 cases across the Charlotte area, Channel 9 asked a local doctor what precautions people in our community should be taking.

Dr. Yvette Rudisel with Novant Health said if you’re vaccinated, now is not the time to go back into isolation. You can still see family and friends. However, everyday activities should be thought out.

Here’s some of her advice.

Restaurants

“If I’m going out to a restaurant, I’m trying to look at how many people are in the restaurant,” Rudisel said. “How is the seating? Are the waiters and waitresses wearing their masks? I’m taking a pause to think about those kinds of things, and I think it’s what we have to do with the new delta variant that’s just so contagious.”

Plans with friends and family

“I would absolutely evaluate who is immunized or not,” Rudisel said. “And I can tell you, personally for myself, we are hanging out and socializing with friends who all have their vaccines. I would say to be safe and careful not only to protect the people who are vaccinated, but more importantly, to protect the people who are not vaccinated.”

Grocery stores

“If I’m walking down the aisle and I see four to five people, I’ll go the other way just to be cautious,” Rudisel said. “I think you have to be cautious.”

‘There’s some risk every day’

Channel 9 spoke with several local grocery store shoppers on Thursday.

David Collins said the delta variant hasn’t changed his habits too much. He still avoids crowded aisles at the grocery store but said he will still eat inside at a restaurant.

“I’ve been vaccinated, so I don’t see a tremendous amount of risk,” Collins said. “I mean, there’s some risk. There’s some risk every day. When the first COVID came, I was apprehensive and I took a lot of precaution, but now I’m pretty well resigned to it.”

Another shopper, Chelsea Ray, said, “I wear my mask regardless of where I’m going -- the grocery store or any enclosed building -- I continue to wear my mask.”

Ray said she is unvaccinated but plans to get her shot soon now that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine has FDA approval. She told Channel 9 she’s worried about getting the virus and the effect it could have on her family.

“Even during the summertime, I only kept with my small group of family and friends because, again, you don’t know who has come in contact with whomever,” Ray said.

(WATCH BELOW: Health experts release chart of riskiest activities during coronavirus)